The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has taken legal action against the Namibian government and Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov's company, Comsar SA, challenging a 99-year lease agreement on four farms in the Dordabis area.

Judge Orben Sibeya reserved his judgement for August 15, 2024.

In 2018, Comsar SA intended to purchase four commercial farms in the Dordabis area from private owners, although the law did not allow for such an arrangement.

With the consent of the Minister of Land Reform, Comsar SA bought the farms nonetheless and donated them to the government, just to lease them back from the government for 99 years.

This is the very action that PDM is challenging, and it argues that the lease agreement, which allows Comsar SA to lease the farms from the government for 99 years, is unlawful, saying the lease is as good as granting ownership. 
According to PDM, the lease agreement was part of a scheme devised to evade legislative provisions and unfairly benefit foreigners at the expense of landless Namibians. 

They argue that the lease agreement should be reviewed and set aside, and that Comsar SA should be evicted from the farms.

In response, the government and Comsar SA argued that the lease agreement was lawfully entered into and served the public interest. 

They maintain that there is no basis for the agreement to be set aside.

The outcome of this case could have significant implications for land ownership and reform in Namibia.

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Daniel Nadunya